Man who received free home reportedly has an armed robbery conviction
PORTLAND, Maine - A disabled lobsterman who received a $500,000 log home from the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in an episode yet to be aired has a criminal past, including an armed robbery conviction, The Portland Press Herald reported Thursday.
The criminal offenses and two drunken driving convictions occurred before Doug Goodale of Wells lost his arm in a fishing accident in 1997. That story caught the attention of the hit ABC reality show.
Goodale told the Press Herald that an agreement with the show’s producers bars him from talking until the episode airs, possibly next month.
Melissa Armstrong, a spokeswoman for the producers of “Extreme Makeover,” declined to discuss Goodale’s criminal history or whether it would have disqualified him. The application form, which was submitted by a family member, asks candidates whether they have been convicted of crimes, but the spokeswoman would not say whether the Goodale application had that information.
Goodale was working alone on his boat in 1997 when a winch caught his arm. He had to amputate it to free himself and then steer the boat back to port, where he was taken to the hospital.
“It was twisting my arm off,” Goodale said in an interview as he recovered. “I had a knife there and I just started cutting. If I didn’t, I was dead meat.”
Robbery and assault
The newspaper said it looked into Goodale’s criminal record after receiving several tips from residents of Wells.
In the armed robbery case, Goodale was arrested in 1982 a day after a fast-food restaurant was robbed of $300 and its employees were forced into a walk-in cooler. Goodale pleaded guilty to a felony and served 60 days in jail. The rest of his one-year sentence was suspended.
In 1997, he was given a suspended sentence for misdemeanor assault. His Maine driving record, which is separate from his criminal record, shows his license was suspended twice for drunken driving, in 1985 and 1995.
The Press Herald reported that the records it researched show different birth dates for Goodale, perhaps one reason “Extreme Makeover” may not have known about Goodale’s crimes. Many court records list him as born in January 1964 — making him an adult at the time of the 1982 robbery — while other records, including his driver’s license, say he was born in 1965.
Goodale’s ex-wife Becky Sellers was one of those who contacted the newspaper after his story was published. She thinks Goodale’s past is part of the story and should not be glossed over or ignored by the television show.
“He’s had a hard life, but he brought it all on himself,” said Sellers, who was married to Goodale from 1985 until 1992.
Officials with Katahdin Cedar Log Homes, which supplied the materials and workers to build the home, estimated its value at $500,000. Company president David Gordon said he wasn’t troubled by Goodale’s past, “as long as he paid his debt to society.”
Hmm.. How ironic that he has an "armed robbery" conviction.